What I Always Do
- Keep your eyes open and mind as clear as possible and if I can hammer one point home it's this. JUST BECAUSE YOU SEE THEM DOES NOT MEAN THEY SEE YOU.
- Run against traffic. I never understand people running with traffic coming at their backs. If you can't see the vehicle you can't avoid it. One exception I have to this steadfast rule is when entering a blind turn. In this instance I always want to be on the outside of the curve. If you are on the inside of the curve the driver (or cyclist) will not see you until the last second and I know I tend to take corners inside when I drive. Well before the curve I wait to be sure no cars are coming from behind me, I then switch sides and get through that curve as quickly as possible before switching back to again run against traffic.
- Wear reflective gear, especially when dark (this means a.m. or p.m.). There are so many options including, bands, tape, vests, jackets, and virtually every apparel item can be found with some reflection. I recently bought a Nathan reflective vest, Streak version ($20) but I have been wearing your basic orange construction type forever (I think I paid $5 for it). I also wear a Brooks Nightlife Jacket when it's colder or raining ($100).
- Always wear a head lamp or carry a flashlight when running in the dark. Not only does this make you more visible but it helps you see too.There are many models out there with a big range in brightness and price. With 55 lumens and extremely lightweight my favorite is the Pezel Tikka which retails for about $40. I also have a Black Diamond Spot which is significantly brighter with 75 lumens, but I find the battery life to be significantly less ($40).
- Red Flashing LED light. The blinking will attract more attention. I have had various brands that I usually bought from a bike shop but recently found a small lightweight version from Nathan which I think was about $10. I also just found Firefly Supernova on the Road ID website.
- If you "think" a driver is coming too close get out of the way early because the moment you "know" the driver is too close it may be too late.
- When a driver moves over to give you more room give them a big wave of thanks so they do it again.
- Follow your instincts. If you feel like you are entering an unsafe situation trust your gut and get out of there.
- Carry ID. You can of course order a Road ID or what I do is write my name, age, emergency contact information and instructions in the event I can't speak for myself.
- Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
What I Do Some Of The Time
- Try to run roads with generous shoulders and clear site lines. I certainly feel more comfortable but it's not always possible and some of my favorite routes have no shoulders.
- Run with a buddy. There is safety in numbers.
- No music. It is very important to hear what is going on around you or coming toward you (animals, cars, cyclists or any other potential threat).
- Vary your routes. I think this is a great idea which I recently read. I think most runners do this to break up the monotony but it will also help protect you if there is an attacker looming and studying your routine.
- Choose a well lit route. Perhaps I should focus on this but I don't. There are lights on some of the roads and not on others, so I bring my own:)
- Carry a cell phone.